MOUNT CARROLL – Amboy-LaMoille’s varsity football team tasted victory for the first time this season with a dramatic 28-26 triumph over Savanna (West Carroll) in Northwest Upstate Illini (Northwest) Conference action on Sept. 7 at Mount Carroll.
West Carroll scored the only touchdown of the first quarter when it recovered a blocked punt in the end zone. The two-point run was no good.
Each team found the end zone twice in the second stanza. Amboy-LaMoille took the lead when Hunter Zimmerly gathered in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell McLaughlin, followed by an extra-point kick by Mario Carvahol, to make it 7-6.
After West Carroll went in front on a 1-yard touchdown run and a successful two-point run, the Clippers knotted the score at 14-14 on a 5-yard TD pass from McLaughlin to Preston Henkel with just 54 seconds left in the half. Carvahol added the extra-point kick.
While it looked like the two teams would head to halftime tied at 14-all, the Thunder shocked the Clippers with a 58-yard touchdown strike with 36 ticks on the clock. West Carroll’s two-point conversion run came up short.
The seesaw battle continued in the second half. Amboy-LaMoille got a 1-yard TD run from McLaughlin and a Carvahol PAT kick at the 4:07 mark of the third period to take a 21-20 lead, but West Carroll quickly answered on a 58-yard touchdown run to seize a 26-21 advantage.
The Thunder made that lead hold up until the 1:10 mark of the game when McLaughlin connected with Hunter Walzer for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Carvahol’s successful extra-point kick gave the Clippers a 28-26 lead.
Amboy-LaMoille’s defense was able to hold back West Carroll in the final minute to preserve the thrilling win.
The Clippers piled up 405 yards of offense compared to 328 for West Carroll. McLaughlin completed 15 of 23 passes for 289 yards, while Jake Schaver rushed the ball 24 times for 91 yards.
Amboy-LaMoille (1-2 overall, 1-1 conference) will head out on the road Friday, Sept. 14 when it travels to winless Pecatonica. The Indians have been shut out in their last two games after scoring just six points in the season-opener.